Inside The Harvest From the bishop Bishop Wolfe calls the Crossroads campaign a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the life of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. Page 2
ECW retreat Feeling stressed? If so, unwind on the first-ever retreat for women sponsored by the Episcopal Church Women. Page 4
Miqra More than 75 young people from across the diocese helped read the Bible out loud in January, and they also learned about scripture in the process. Page 5
Mega Cam p Camp Summer Camp. One week. Two hundred Episcopalians. Check out information about the first-ever Mega Camp. Page 5
Deacons Following the ordination of the first new deacons in the diocese in more than four years, here’s the chance to learn more about this ancient, and sometimes misunderstood, order of ordained ministers. Pages 6-7
Around the diocese There’s lots going on in the diocese, including a high tech sign at St. Andrew’s, Emporia, and some celebrating at St. David’s, Topeka. Page 8
New clergy Bishop Dean Wolfe ordained six new clergy in January — three deacons and three priests. Page 9
Cr ossr oads goal: securing the future Crossr ossroads of the Episcopal Chur ansas Churcch in K Kansas By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest
ansas Episcopalians soon will have the opportunity to participate in what Bishop Dean Wolfe has called “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to choose between boldly investing in our future or resigning ourselves to a long, slow decline.” The fundraising campaign, named “Crossroads: Securing the Path to Tomorrow,” seeks to raise just under $6 million to provide support for the Kansas School for Ministry, a diocesan program that educates deacons and priests and plans to expand its courses for extensive lay ministry. $1.2 million of the campaign’s goal will be set aside for an endowment for KSM and for student scholarships. The effort also will build a Leadership Center to house KSM and offices for the bishop’s Topeka-based staff, and 10 percent of the total raised will be earmarked for outreach efforts at home and abroad. So far, just under $2.5 million has been raised, making it already the largest fundraising effort in the 151-year history of the diocese. Every parish in the diocese will provide materials about the campaign to members during Lent, with financial pledges to be collected on one of three “Crossroads Sundays” in the weeks leading up to Easter.
Pr oviding parish leader ship Pro leadership Bishop Wolfe said the heart of the Crossroads campaign is a new understanding of how the diocese can help pro-
vide clergy and lay leaders for all the parishes of the diocese, including those that can’t afford the costs of a seminary-educated priest. Currently, 27 of the diocese’s 46 congregations rely on clergy who are not paid full-time by their church. In remarks printed on page 2 of this issue of The Harvest, Bishop Wolfe said that the vibrancy and vitality of the Episcopal Church in eastern Kansas hangs in the balance. “How will we keep the Episcopal Church in Kansas from fading from prominence and becoming a mere archival memory, a historical footnote?,” he asked. “Will we close church after church after church, unable to continue providing our inspiring worship, a supportive sense of community and our passion for caring for others?” The key to reversing that scenario, the bishop said, is for the diocese to educate its own priests and deacons as well as lay leaders, to serve the needs of church
Art meets theology in this year’s May 5 installment of the annual lecture, with a presentation by noted painter Makoto Fujimura. Page 9
Please see Crossroads, page 3
Deacon Fran Wheeler has been named the new chair of the diocesan Outreach Committee. She was one of three people ordained to the diaconate in January, and she has a background in outreach ministries. Page 9
New Zealand ear thq uak e earthq thquak uake
The school and rectory in Torbeck, Haiti, were badly damaged by the January 2010 earthquake that devastated that Caribbean nation, so St. Michael and All Angels in Mission stepped in to help. Page 11
Char DeWitt, diocesan director of development and stewardship, said in the next few weeks teams in each congregation will be organizing efforts to share the Crossroads vision with fellow parishioners. The diocese is providing materials to every church to help, including an informational video that explains the challenges facing the diocese, as well as bulletin inserts and display posters. A brochure, informational letter and pledge card will be mailed to every Episcopalian in the diocese. Three Sundays in late Lent — March 27, April 3 and
By the Rev. Rob Baldwin
New outreac hc hair outreach chair
Haiti sc hool repaired school
A cchance hance tto o giv e give
Lawrence church hosts hidden treasure
Toc her lecture ocher
Even as the death toll from the Feb. 22 earthquake rose, people of Christchurch paused to remember the dead, and then made plans to rebuild. Page 11
members and to lead them into service in their communities. He said, “Creating educated and empowered leadership is the key to almost every single strategy we have for growth and evangelism in this diocese.” That need isn’t new in Kansas, either. Early bishops struggled to find priests willing to endure rigors of prairie life to lead congregations in the newly formed Diocese of Kansas. So they created a diocesan theological school in Topeka aimed at developing the kind of clergy the diocese needed. This need prompted Bishop Thomas to write in 1892, “I have come to the conclusion that there is but one path open to me. I must educate my own missionaries.” Bishop Wolfe said the path to leadership that’s needed today is the same one Bishop Thomas described.
Photo by Richard Schori for Episcopal News Service
New Western Kansas bishop consecrated Bishop Michael Milliken of Western Kansas (center), enjoys a light moment after his consecration as the diocese’s fifth bishop Feb. 19 at First Presbyterian Church in Hutchinson. Joining him are Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (left), the chief consecrator, and Kansas Bishop Dean Wolfe, one of the co-consecrators. More information on the new bishop is on page 10.
e often talk about “hidden treasures” in our parishes, but Trinity, Lawrence actually has one — if you know where to look for it. It’s a geocache, placed in the Hale Family Memorial Garden on the parish grounds. My family and I are avid geocachers, members of a global community of enthusiasts who enjoy the hunt of hidden items at various public places across the globe. Geocaching is fairly straightforward. A person creates a “cache,” a weatherproof container ranging in size from a small pill bottle to a large cooler. Inside he or she places a supply of small, inexpensive items and a notebook that serves as a log for the cache. The cache is labeled clearly as a geocache, and then deposited somewhere — a park or other public area, or private property with permission. The location of the cache is marked on Please see Treasure, page 3
2 • The Harvest • January/February 2011
From the Bishop
The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe
Publisher: The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe, Bishop Editor: Melodie Woerman A member of Episcopal News Service and Episcopal Communicators, The Harvest is published six times a year by the Office of Communications of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas: February, April, June, August, October and December. Stories, letters and photos are welcome. They will be used on a space-available basis and are subject to editing. Send all material (preferably in electronic format or by e-mail) to: Melodie Woerman, editor The Harvest 835 SW Polk St. Topeka, KS 66612-1688 phone: (800) 473-3563 fax: (785) 235-2449 email@example.com Send address changes to: Receptionist 835 SW Polk St., Topeka, KS 66612-1688 firstname.lastname@example.org Upcoming deadlines: March/April issue: March 15 May/June issue: May 15 Subscription rate: $1.50 annually Third class mailing Permit No. 601, Topeka, Kansas POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Episcopal Diocese of Kansas 835 SW Polk St. Topeka, KS 66612-1688
The Anglican Communion A global community of 70 million Anglicans in 38 member churches/provinces in more than 160 countries. Archbishop of Canterbury The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Rowan Williams Lambeth Palace, London WE1 7JU, United Kingdom www.anglicancommunion.org Episcopal seat: Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, England
The Episcopal Church A community of more than 2.1 million members in 110 dioceses in 16 countries in the Americas and abroad. Presiding Bishop The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori 815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017 (800) 334-7626 www.episcopalchurch.org Episcopal seat: Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas A community of 12,000 members in 46 congregations, two diocesan institutions and one school in eastern Kansas. Bishop The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe 835 SW Polk Street, Topeka, KS 66612-1688 (785) 235-9255 (800) 473-3563 www.episcopal-ks.org Episcopal seat: Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Topeka
Cr ossr oads of Crossr ossroads offfer erss a unique chance tto o mak e a real dif make diffference
ear Friends, For the past year I’ve been telling everyone about the Crossroads initiative, the most important and exciting project the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas has undertaken in more than a generation! We call it “Crossroads” because we believe it describes exactly where we stand at this moment in our history as a diocese. Episcopalians in Kansas face a once-in-alifetime opportunity to choose between boldly investing in our future or resigning ourselves to a long, slow decline. We face a choice between going forward or slipping back, a choice between ignoring the moment we’ve been given or embracing the opportunity to act with faith and passion. I want to tell you why I think it is imperative that we step up to meet the challenges we face, and to do it in a way that will ensure the vitality and vibrancy of the Episcopal Church in Kansas for the next 152 years of our life together. Photo by Stephen Butler
Crucial questions We face a series of crucial questions: How will we provide clergy leadership for our smaller congregations that can’t afford to pay the salary of a seminary-educated priest? How will we meet the educational needs of potential leaders who can’t leave their jobs or uproot their families to attend a residential seminary? How will we raise up and educate deacons for every congregation in this diocese, to help lead our people into service in their communities? How will we provide lay leaders with the high quality, in-depth training most of our parishes don’t have the resources to provide? In other words… How will we keep the Episcopal Church in Kansas from fading from prominence and becoming a mere archival memory, a historical footnote? Will we close church after church after church, unable to continue providing our inspiring worship, a supportive sense of community and our passion for caring for others?
One answ er: K ansas Sc hool ffor or Ministr answer: Kansas School Ministryy All these questions have one answer: the Kansas School for Ministry. Since its founding in 1997, KSM has helped provide deacons and priests to dozens of parishes in the diocese. But the need has grown even larger in recent years, and KSM has stepped up to meet the challenges of those demands. Under the revitalizing direction of the Rev. Dr. Andrew Grosso, KSM provides a high level of academic rigor that gives students the kind of background they need to understand and shape the ministries they will undertake. Everywhere I go, Vestry members, deacons, priests and even youth group members all have the same question. They all ask, “How can our church grow?” I believe the key to church growth is developing highly motivated and highly trained leaders in every order (lay, deacon and priest), and the key to developing highly motivated and highly trained leaders in every order is developing an excellent school where these values and these traditions are faithfully taught. If we are to guarantee the vibrant presence of the Episcopal Church for the next 100, 200 or 300 years in Kansas, we need to be able to educate our own lay leaders, deacons and priests.
Creating educated and empowered leadership is the key to almost every single strategy we have for growth and evangelism in this diocese.
Ensuring the future In 1892, Bishop Elisha Thomas struggled to find clergy wiling to come to the Kansas prairie to lead our congregations. He said the situation left him with only one choice: “I have come to the conclusion that there is but one path left open to me. I must educate my own missionaries.” Today, 119 years later, our conclusion is the same. Hardy pioneers created this diocese in 1859, using, some would say, more faith than good sense, as they sought to establish the Episcopal Church here before Kansas was even a state. For the next two generations, that faith inspired Episcopalians to start churches across this state, seeking to offer the beauty of Episcopal worship and the gentleness of Episcopal theology to those who longed for those things amid the hardship of prairie life. And now we have the opportunity — the obligation — to ensure that their heroic efforts were not made in vain. We must provide the kind of sustaining leadership that makes sure that all those who might hear the gospel of Christ only through the language of the Episcopal Church will have the chance to hear it — in every place where we can. I know this represents the largest fundraising venture ever in this diocese. I know that this initiative follows a turbulent economic period. If it were entirely up to us, I wouldn’t be confident about our chances for success. But if God wants this project to succeed, then I believe nothing on heaven or earth will be able to stop it — not stock markets, not our own inability to let go of our hard-earned money, not our lack of faith — nothing. Nothing will keep us from achieving this goal, if God seeks it to be so. I ask you to pray about how you and your family might become part of this project to make a real difference in the life of the Episcopal Church in Kansas in our time. Elsewhere in this issue of The Harvest you can find out how you can make a personal financial commitment to this worthy goal. May God bless your efforts, as he already has richly blessed us all. Faithfully, +Dean
January/February 2011 • The Harvest • 3
Crossroads: Goal is to equip leaders in a new way Continued from page 1 April 10 — have been set aside as “Crossroads Sundays,” the dates on which parishes will gather campaign pledges from their members. People are being asked to prayerfully consider a contribution over a three- or fiveyear period that would be above and beyond any giving to their local parish. The parish phase of the campaign is being chaired by Larry Hannan of St. Luke’s, Wamego.
Crossroads Sundays Three Sundays in Lent have been designated to receive pledge cards for the Crossroads fundraising campaign to benefit the Kansas School for Ministry. Dates are: March 27, April 3 and April 10 Cards and informational materials will be sent to members of all congregations in the diocese before its selected collection Sunday.
The vision is the real goal Campaign chair Larry Bingham, a member of St. Michael and All Angels in Mission, said that while the Crossroads committee is working hard to reach the nearly $6 million fundraising total, the real goal goes beyond far beyond money. “The important question is, ‘Will we achieve the Crossroads vision to fundamentally change the way we equip leadership and deliver ministry in Episcopal parishes in Kansas?’ The answer to that is an unequivocal and resounding, ‘Yes.’” Part of that need for change is driven by economics. The cost to attend a traditional three-year Episcopal seminary can exceed $75,000, and many Kansas parishes can’t afford to pay clergy salaries required to offset those costs. Bishop Wolfe also noted that some people who might want to explore a call to the priesthood can’t do so because of the financial costs and disruption of family life associated with relocating to seminary. “We must develop a more efficient and cost-effective way to train the clergy leadership that is essential to healthy parishes,” he said.
Deacons, la oo layy ministr ministryy, ttoo While for more than a dozen years KSM has provided the educational formation for deacons in
the Diocese of Kansas, the need for more servant leaders is stronger than ever. Bishop Wolfe said in his address to the 2010 Diocesan Convention that he wanted to see one or two deacons in every parish as part of a leadership team and to help lead congregations into outreach efforts. Three deacons were ordained in January 2011, but those were the first new deacons ordained in the diocese in four years, and there currently are 30 deacons serving the 46 churches in the diocese. Bingham said expanded lay ministry training is a key element of the Crossroads campaign. The Rev. Andrew Grosso, KSM’s coordinator and diocesan missioner for theological formation, said that in the next few years the school plans to offer programs to certify people in one of six licensed lay ministries authorized by church canons, primarily focused on liturgical activities. Additionally, he wants to establish programs to prepare people as youth ministers, outreach leaders and pastoral care specialists.
Facility of offfer erss KSM home A significant portion of the Crossroads campaign goal — about $3.8 million — would go to build a new Leadership Center
Part-time clergy are the norm throughout the diocese
he majority of congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas rely on parttime, supply or unpaid clergy to lead their parishes. Of the 46 congregations, only 19 are led by full-time clergy. That represents approximately 41 percent of diocesan churches. Of the remaining 27 churches, four have clergy that make a full-time living, but it comes either from a yoked ministry of two parishes, or the priest is also working for the diocese. The other 23 churches have clergy who receive something
to house KSM, provide meeting space for diocesan groups and create new offices for the diocese’s Topeka-based staff. KSM classes currently meet in the Bethany Place Conference Center, a 136-year-old building
BY THE NUMBERS 19 churches are led by full-time clergy 4 churches are led by full-time clergy with shared salaries 23 churches are led by part-time, supply or unpaid clergy less than a full-time salary. Some churches rely on weekto-week supply priests, while others offer part-time compensation. A few clergy receive no stipend but do receive reimbursement for expenses.
that for much of the 20th century was the residence for Kansas bishops and before that was the barn for an Episcopal girls’ school. It was converted to its present use in the early 1980s. The former living room
provides space for about 12 students, with upstairs sleeping space for 13 people. The building cannot be used by people with disabilities, since there are steep steps at all doors. The new building will provide classroom space for 80 people, along with a conference room and small chapel. It also will feature state-of-theart technology and environmentally friendly design and construction. Bishop Wolfe called the new building “a center of diocesan learning and leadership. It not only will house an innovative approach to educating clergy, it will be the place where lay people from congregations of every size can come. Here they will learn, train, connect and prepare themselves for the challenges of leading parishes in today’s Episcopal Diocese of Kansas.”
Truly hist oric oppor tunity historic opportunity KSM’s Grosso said the Crossroads campaign is a unique opportunity for the diocese to strengthen its mission. “It will remind every member that the church is called to ministry,” he said. “It also will provide the ability to offer the kind of formation that will help every member of every parish in this diocese discover and pursue the particular ministry to which God has called them.” Bishop Wolfe said this initiative provides all Episcopalians in the diocese the chance to do something truly historic. “At this moment, we have the chance to ensure that the needs of our parishes can be met in new and innovative ways,” he said. “Our efforts here, right now, will determine how we shape the minds, motivate the faith and nurture the abilities of future leaders. That’s a tremendous challenge, but it’s one I’m confident the people of this diocese will meet. It will require sacrifice, but I know God will bless these efforts.”
Treasure: Trinity garden beckons geocache fans Continued from page 1 a handheld GPS unit, and the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates are uploaded onto a website, www.geocaching.com. Other geocaching enthusiasts, armed with their own GPS units, can then locate the cache. Once they find it, they remove an item, place an item of their own within, and record their visit in the logbook and online. Over time the contents of the cache will change. Some geocachers have special items that have a unique tracking barcode so they can see where their item travels from cache to cache. Having a geocache at your church is a great way to introduce your parish to a group of people who may be unfamiliar with your congregation. The online description of Trinity’s cache includes a bit about the history of the parish, the Episcopal Church and regular service times. Trinity enjoys a nice green space in downtown Lawrence, and the cache provides a chance for visitors to relax and
enjoy the garden area. I built the cache using an ammo box purchased at a local military surplus store and stocked it with Beanie Babies and Happy Meal toys purchased at the Salvation Army store. The entire cache cost less than $20 and already has attracted more than 30 visitors to Trinity. Geocaching expeditions also are a great, low-cost activity for children and youth groups. Most cell phones now have internal GPS units, but handheld units are very affordable and can be found at most sporting goods stores. I hope to put regular notices about how often the cache is found in Trinity’s e-newsletter, along with messages left at the geocaching website. One geocacher wrote, “A delightful name for a cache in a very pretty area. Been wanting to do this one ever since I saw the name of it pop up on the site. That little dream came true today. Thanks for such an enormously fun cache.” Rob Baldwin is the rector of Trinity, Lawrence.
The Rev. Rob Baldwin created a geocache from an old ammunition box and filled it with trinkets that can be found by others who hunt for similar hidden items using handheld GPS devices. He placed it in the memorial garden at Trinity, Lawrence, where he is rector, and several people have located it and left notes in its logbook. Baldwin and his family are avid geocachers. Submitted photo
4 • The Harvest • January/February 2011
Le tt er o the Edit or Lett tter erss tto Editor Cr ossr oads campaign Crossr ossroads is k ey tto o la ke layy ministr ministryy How many things are more important than our spiritual well-being? Is this a priority? Is it worth investing in? We, the laity, charge our clergy with supporting and mentoring our spiritual development, but where are the resources within our diocese to support them and to provide for their training? How much of a church’s ministry is conducted by its priests, or how much is actually conducted by its laity? Where does the laity get its training to answer God’s call? I suppose we lay people can simply expect that our parish clergy can train us on our ministries, but do the clergy really have the time or resources to do this, apart from what other expectations we have of them? Do our parishes have the resources to adequately train where God calls us to serve?
Doesn’t it make sense to have a centralized resource venue for training our mutual ministries, and for ensuring we have trained clergy and laity in the out years? The Crossroads Campaign and the Kansas School for Ministry are a fantastic vision for which we should all be excited. Here is that place that can allow us to raise up the leaders of today, and of tomorrow, to lead our parishes and our communities fully into God’s grace and kingdom. This concept is so well founded, so on-spot for the future, that is must have come from the Spirit. We all have the opportunity to support the vision. After all, our spiritual well being is a priority and is worth investing in. I am so thankful that God has provided us this direction and lead to build up this school to better serve Him. Larry Hannan St. Luke’s, Wamego
KSM spring classes explore vvaried aried ttopics opics
o you want to expand your knowledge of church-related topics? If so, the Kansas School for Ministry has some classes this semester that may interest you. KSM is a diocesan-run educational program that provides high quality weekend courses for people preparing for ordination as deacons and priests, as well as for lay people who want to learn more about their Christian faith. Classes meet once a month at the Bethany Place Conference Center adjacent to the diocesan offices in Topeka, from 5:30 p.m. on Friday through 6:30 p.m. on Saturday. Additional homework is required during the weeks following each class. The cost to attend for non-ordination track students is $75 per course, which includes meals during the weekend and overnight accommodations in the conference center. For class information or to enroll, contact KSM Coordinator the Rev. Andrew Grosso at (913) 367-3171 or email@example.com. Upcoming classes include:
April 8-9 MINI 200: Homiletics. Introduction to the ministry of homiletics and preaching, including the theology of preaching, ways of exegeting biblical texts for preaching, identifying and developing one’s preaching style, different homiletic genres and the role of preaching in worship. Facilitator: the Rev. Dr. Don Davidson MINI 500: Evangelism. Examination of the context and dynamics affecting contemporary efforts at evangelism and church
growth, including the theology of evangelism, modern changes in the North American religious landscape, historical factors that complicate evangelism efforts in the Episcopal Church, and the development and implementation of strategies for evangelism. Facilitator: the Very Rev. Dr. Steven Mues THEO 200: Doctrine of God. Exposition of the Christian doctrine of God, including historical development of Christian thinking about God, the relationship between natural theology and dogmatic theology relative to an understanding of God, and the significance of the doctrine of God for the faith and practice of the church. Facilitator: the Rev. Dr. Andrew Grosso
ECW of treat offfer erss stress-beating re retreat for w omen of the diocese women By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest
ably and bring items that might aid their day of reflection, such as a spiritual journal, a Bible or a Prayer Book.
he board for Episcopal Church Women in the dioA ne w ECW of cese is offering a first-ever new offfering retreat to help women manage Roberts said the members of daily stress while giving them a the ECW board decided to offer break from life’s busyness. its first spiritual retreat to give Titled “Bless that Stress and Kansas Episcopal women of all Pray: Stress Management in the ages “a day of rest and reflecChristian Life,” the event will take tion.” She said, “As women from Melissa Roberts place Saturday, April 2, from 10 all walks of life experience stress a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Stephen’s, 7404 Killarney in of family, work, relationships and health, the Wichita. retreat’s theme — connecting the Christian tradiThe cost to attend is $15 and includes lunch tion with managing stress — is a useful resource.” and refreshments throughout the day. The deadRoberts currently teaches classes on stress manline to register is March 26. agement and meditation at Labette Community ColLeading the workshop will be Melissa Roberts, lege in Parsons, where she lives, as well as classes a teacher, freelance writer and spiritual director on history and world religions. who attends St. Paul’s in Coffeyville. The retreat A former hospital chaplain, Robert has a Maswill be based on her latest book, Everything Guide ters in Theological Studies from Virginia Theologito Stress Management, as well as resources of scrip- cal Seminary, and she has completed nine units of ture, reason, tradition and experience familiar to Clinical Pastoral Education. all Episcopal women. She also has a background in Benedictine spirituality as a member of the Worker Sisters of the ‘R esting in God’ Holy Spirit. ‘Resting More information on her work is available on Roberts said the retreat will be “slow paced and low in stimulation to create an ambiance condu- her website, http://melissamroberts.com. cive to resting in God.” It will include Bible readw tto o regist er ings, prayer, individual and small-group reflection, Ho How register personal quiet time, short lectures, and worship to, Those who want to attend the retreat need to in Roberts’ words, “create a relaxing and reflec- register before the March 26 deadline, although the tive environment in which to deepen faith and $15 retreat fee can be paid at the door. Christian community.” Send your registration information (name, adThe retreat will be presented in two sections, dress, phone number, e-mail address and parish you focusing on individual as well as community stress. attend) to June Mendenhall, P.O. Box 100 Sedan, Roberts said those attending should dress comfort- KS 67361 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grants available for continuing education
ll women of the diocese are eligible to receive continuing education grants from the Episcopal Church Women to further their educational experiences. The guidelines are: 1. Recipients must be women who are members of a parish in the Diocese of Kansas. 2. Requests for grants must be submitted in writing to the chairperson of the Continuing Education Committee. The letter should include a description of the event, including the dates, total costs, the sponsoring agency and the name
of the parish to which the woman belongs. 3. Requests should be made well in advance of the event. There will be no funding of expenses already incurred. 4. Funding is for adult women to continue their education experiences. Returning to college, community workshops, seminar and convocation educational events, Education for Ministry, and Women of Vision are examples of approved activities. 5. The committee will consider up to two-thirds funding for an individual for any one event,
with a $100 limit. Only one grant per year will be given to an applicant. An individual will be limited to receiving a maximum of $300 during any five-year period. 6. Flexibility will be maintained by the committee granting funds. Application forms are available from your ECW president, your convocation chairperson or your parish office. Please send applications or questions to Mary Simpson, 321 N. Douglas, Sedan, KS 67361, or contact her at (620) 725-3221 or email@example.com.
Ma 3-1 4 Mayy 1 13-1 3-14 BIBL 120: Prophets and Writings. Detailed examination of the historical setting, literary characteristics, and major themes of the prophetic and wisdom literature of the Hebrew Bible (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Psalms, Proverbs, Job, etc.). Also includes attention to the tools and methods used in the historicalcritical exegesis of biblical texts. Facilitator: Dr. Melissa Tubbs Loya BIBL 220: Pauline Epistles. Detailed examination of the New Testament texts traditionally associated with the apostle Paul (including pseudepigraphical works), including analysis of their historical context, literary structure and theology. Also includes some attention to the tools and methods employed in historicalcritical exegesis. Facilitator: the Rev. Dr. Richard McCandless
Endowment fund supports ECW activities across the Diocese of Kansas
he Episcopal Church Women endowment fund, established in 1989, has grown to almost $82,000. The interest earned in 2010 on this amount will be transferred to the ECW Diocesan Board to help with operating expenses. The income from the endowment fund helps finance services for women in all parishes, whether or not they have an organized ECW group. Diocesan ECW activities include providing United Thank Offering and Church Periodical Club resources and speakers, providing continuing education grants for women, and sending delegates to provincial and national Triennial meetings. The diocesan ECW board also sponsors an annual gathering for all women and men in the diocese that features interesting speakers and programs. In April 2011 the board will sponsor a spiritual retreat at St. Stephen’s Church in Wichita. The offering at the Annual Gathering is designated for the ECW Endowment Fund, and a total
of $550 was contributed at the 2010 gathering in Parsons at St. John’s Church. The Rev. Gail Greenwell, rector of St. Michael and All Angels Church in Mission, was our speaker. Contributions in any amount are welcome. As the interest from the Endowment Fund grows, the amount asked from the parishes in fair shares will decrease. All contributions are fully tax deductible and will be acknowledged promptly. The amount of the contribution will remain confidential. The fund received a generous bequest from the estate of Bill Baker for which we are very grateful. Do you want to honor someone’s birthday, anniversary or a special holiday? Are you grateful for someone’s contribution to your parish life? Or do you simply want to support the important work of the ECW in Kansas? Send contributions with a note to June Mendenhall, ECW Endowment Fund Treasurer, P.O. Box 100, Sedan, KS 67361.
January/February 2011 • The Harvest • 5
Parishes plan pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Turkey The Holy Land in July sponsored by St. James’, Wichita
Photos by Melodie Woerman
Board games were popular among junior high students during free time at St. David’s.
From Genesis to Revelation in 72 hours
A video camera helped show the Bible readings at Grace Cathedral live on the Internet, including the turn taken by Alayne Weber, a cathedral member.
ore than 75 young people gathered in read a passage from Leviticus. Topeka over the Martin Luther King Day The Bible reading done by senior high youth at holiday weekend to attend Miqra, the the cathedral was streamed live over the Internet, and Bible-based weekend experience for diocesan youth viewers were able to track the group’s progress as in grades 6 through 12. the book of the Bible being read was Senior high students met at Grace displayed on the desk. Cathedral, with younger students at St. In addition to the reading, particiDavid’s. pants learned more about the Bible During Miqra the entire Bible is through workshops, addresses by read out loud, at each location. Stuclergy and small group discussions. dents sign up in shifts, with the readThey also enjoyed some free time for ing continuing non-stop, day or night. group activities, as well as several opIt takes about 72 hours to complete portunities for worship. the entire Bible. “Miqra” is a Hebrew word that Adult volunteers kicked off the means “reading” and refers to the anreading on Friday afternoon before the cient Jewish practice of gathering at youth arrived, and Bishop Dean Wolfe A sign-up poster kept the local synagogue to hear a public was one of those who took a turn. He readers on schedule. reading of scripture.
July 7-15, led by parishioner and Jerusalem native Sue Abdinnour and assistant rector the Rev. Amanda Eiman. Highlights of the trip will include stops in Caesarea, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, the Mount of the Beatitudes, Jericho, Qumran, the Dead Sea, the Mount of Olives, Bethlehem, and many places in Jerusalem integral to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. During each day’s travel, travelers will explore the religious and spiritual significance of the places they visit. The cost is $3,480 per person double occupancy and includes round-trip flights between Wichita and Tel Aviv, hotel accommodations, and most meals. A deposit of $500 is due right away to reserve a spot, with the remainder due by April 5. The complete brochure, with additional information, a complete itinerary and a registration form, is on the St. James website at http:/ /stjameswichita.org/Documents/holy_land.pdf. For more information, contact Abdinnour at (316) 744-8612 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tur key in Ma urk Mayy sponsored by St. Michael and All Angels, Mission May 3-20. Spiritual guides will be rector the Rev. Gail Greenwell and assistant rector the Rev. Lisa Senuta. Participants will explore the footsteps of the apostle Paul with stops including Goreme in Cappadochia, to see what is recognized as the first Christian monastery, then on to the Mediterranean coast, to Antalia, then to Heropolis, Ephosus, Izmir, Troy, and Nicea, visiting the seven churches of the Book of Revelation. The trip will be conducted by the Rev. Donald Cornell, a Lutheran pastor who has led this trip for many years. A complete itinerary is available at www.donaldcornell.com. The cost is $3,695 per person, double occupancy. Contact Greg Peterson for any additional information or to register for the trip. He can be reached by phone at (913) 449-6004 or e-mail, email@example.com.
6 • The Harvest • January/February 2011
Jeff Roper, Fran Wheeler and Barbara Gibson were ordained as deacons Jan. 8 at Grace Cathedral. Deacons have a special ministry of servanthood and a call to lead the church into service.
Deacons Ordained ministers call the church to service and are ‘icons of prophetic ministry’ By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest
he ordination on Jan. 8 of three new deacons in the Diocese of Kansas, along with the emphasis on raising up clergy leadership through the Kansas School for Ministry, has sparked an interest in deacons and the role they play in the life and work of the Episcopal Church. The new deacons were the first to be ordained in the diocese in more than four years, a gap in a nearly 30-year pattern of expansion of the order that occurred while the School for Ministry was being retooled. Deacons Barbara Gibson, Jeff Roper and Fran Wheeler are the first to graduate from the newly reconstituted KSM, having completed two years of specialized education. They now are spending a year as an intern within a parish to gain hands-on, practical experience
that the classroom evolving in the Episcopal can’t provide. Church in the last 50 years According to as the church wrestles with Archdeacon Charles a growing understanding Pearce, who recently of what author James was given special reBarrett calls “a full and sponsibility for equal order.” Archdeacon diaconal formation, The bishop’s charge to Monte Giddings this internship year is a new deacon at ordination meant to help the specifies their task of newly ordained live servanthood and prophetic into the nature of the witness. “In the name of servant ministry they Jesus Christ, you are to have undertaken. serve all people, particu“Diaconal formalarly the poor, the weak, tion means learning the sick and the Archdeacon to look at the world lonely….You are to interthrough the eyes of a Charles Pearce pret to the Church the deacon,” Pearce said. needs, concerns and hopes of the When their internships are con- world….At all times, your life and cluded later this spring, they will teaching are to show Christ’s receive their permanent parish people that in serving the helpless assignments from Bishop Dean they are serving Christ himself.” Wolfe. Pearce said this charge is being lived out in a variety of ways What is a deacon? by the 30 deacons serving in the The concept of who deacons Diocese of Kansas. “Some are inare and what they do has been volved in food pantries, some in
By Deacon Edward Fuller
D A history of the diaconate Deacons have long joined bishops in a ministry of justice and mercy
Photo by Melodie Woerman
eacons predate the earliest recorded presbyters or priests in the Christian church and always have been closely associated with the ministry of bishops. For most of the first century, the model of church leadership was a bishop and his deacons serving a local congregation. Ignatius referred to a deacon as his “coslave” in the service of God in Christ. According to the Didascalia, an early third-century writing on Christian order, “The bishops and deacons are to be of one mind, of one counsel, and of one purpose, and one soul dwelling in two bodies.” When Pope Sixtus was martyred in 258 C.E., Blessed Lawrence, his deacon, begged to go with him to his death. To this day, in the ordination service, only the bishop lays hands on the deacon during the prayer of consecration. Such is the historical bond between a bishop and deacon. The earliest deacons recorded in scripture were the seven individuals set apart for service to the Hellinistic widows in Acts 6.
Ser ving the poor Serving Although the seven most likely don’t represent the first formal order of deacons, it is clear the apostles recognized a need for a dedicated ministry to serve the poor. This ministry to the poor, widows and orphans was a serious concern of the ancient church and reflected much of Jesus’ teachings, as well as many Old Testament admonitions
pastoral care, some in social justice, some in hospice work, as designated payees, and so on,” he said. Archdeacon Monte Giddings called a passage from Isaiah 61 “the mission statement of the diaconate,” since it is what Jesus used to describe his own ministry. The passage reads, in part, “…the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Model of ser servvant ministr ministryy The three newest deacons are adding their own service to that list. Gibson said she sees her work primarily as calling the church to care for the “unmet spiritual mental and physical needs of the world.”
in regard to the distribution of justice.
Deacons, bishops w or k ttoge oge ther wor ork ogether The offices of bishop and deacon were first identified with the churches established by Paul. In scripture bishops and deacons are mentioned together in terms of the qualifications for those offices. The importance of bishops and deacons in the work of justice and mercy is mentioned in The Shepherd of Hermas (c. late first-, early-second century) and the Didache (c. 70-150). Most scholars agree that by the later New Testament period, the term “deacon” was specifically used to denote a formal office in the church. In the second through the seventh centuries, the diaconate grew in numbers and importance as deacons oversaw the pastoral care of the church and its ministries of mercy. During the second and third centuries, the senior deacon often was elected to succeed the bishop, while many deacons ascended directly to the papal throne. The order of presbyter or priest was established in the mid- to late-first century, and by the fourth century presbyters had assumed in local churches many of the responsibilities of bishops. But as the church acquired a higher social status, the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E. severely restricted the activities of deacons and identified their order as inferior to that of presbyters. While even in the fifth century presbyters in Rome could not be ordained without the recommendation of a
Roper works to expand ministry on college campuses in Wichita and assists with a weekly service on the Wichita State campus. Wheeler is committed to pastoral care and outreach, particularly feeding hungry people and helping others to do the same. The way deacons in this diocese carry out their ministry is aided by guidelines issued by the bishop and adopted by the community of deacons. Those guidelines say the role of deacons is “…to model the servant ministry of Christ to all the baptized. Deacons are not ordained to do outreach ministry on behalf of the church but to be an icon of prophetic ministry and to lead all members of the church into servant ministry in the world.” But Pearce said church members don’t always understand very well what deacons really do. Please see Deacons, page 7
deacon, a confused — and sometimes adversarial — relationship between presbyters and deacons perpetuated a decline in the diaconate that lasted for 1,500 years.
Order re viv ed in 20th centur reviv vived centuryy Many changes took place in the diaconate between the seventh and mid20th centuries, but one thing remained constant in Roman and Anglican churches: the requirement that one must first be ordained deacon before being ordained a priest. The church no longer saw the diaconate as a separate, essential order, but it refused to abandon it. In 1964 with Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church reinstituted a permanent diaconal ministry, and the permanent deacons in the U.S. were ordained in 1971. The Episcopal Church soon followed, the 1979 Book of Common Prayer bringing significant changes, including removal of the unfortunate reference in the 1928 book to the diaconate as an “inferior” order. There are now more than 3,000 deacons “not awaiting ordination to the priesthood” in the Episcopal Church. Deacon Edward Fuller is assigned to Christ Church, Norcross, Ga., in the Diocese of Atlanta. This first appeared in Pathways, the magazine of the diocese. Editor’s note: The revival of the diaconate in the Diocese of Kansas began in the 1980s under Bishop Richard Grein and has continued under Bishops William Smalley and Dean Wolfe.
January/February 2011 • The Harvest • 7
Deacon’s stoles reflect family ties
Photo by Melodie Woerman
Photo by Nancy Kelly
Deacon John Roper (left) served as a presenter for his son, Jeff, at his ordination Jan. 8 at Grace Cathedral, Topeka. John Roper, ordained in 1981, serves at St. Andrew’s, Derby. Jeff Roper is an intern at Trinity, Arkansas City and Grace, Winfield.
Deacons Rita and Dick Tracy went through diaconal discernment and preparation together before they were ordained in 2000. They undertake their ministry as deacons together, too, at Trinity, Lawrence.
Father presented son for ordination O
Married couple studied together W
n Jan. 8 Deacon John Roper did something no other deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas has done. He presented his son for ordination and then placed a deacon’s stole around his shoulder. John and Jeff Roper now share status as deacons, but their paths to get there were different. John was ordained in 1981, just as the idea of a revived diaconate was taking hold in the Episcopal Church. At the time there was no Kansas School for Ministry, where Jeff studied, so John prepared by taking four years of Education for Ministry and then studying on his own for exams in the six areas required by the canons. Jeff took a few seminary classes at Texas Christian University in the late 1980s, but a call to ordained ministry didn’t crystalize until recent years, he said, when he heard the Holy Spirit speak to him during a sermon at St. James’, Wichita, his home parish. He finished his own Education for Ministry track and then took the required two years of coursework at KSM. He’s now serving an internship year at Trinity, Arkansas City and Grace, Winfield.
Jeff said watching his father’s ordination “sent a powerful message to me at the time,” and he called having his father place the stole on him for the first time “a special moment in my life.” John said it was just natural that he’d be there in support. “As a father, I was proud of him,” he said. “As a deacon, I had a sense of brotherhood with him.” Jeff said that during his studies his father offered him a few bits of advice, including to “pay attention to my spiritual formation as a deacon.” Beyond that, he gave his son insight into how deacons best function in their ministry of servanthood. “My dad’s advice is not to feel like I have to be the one who does all the servant ministry, but rather to be a ‘catalyst’ in the church, finding ways to encourage and empower parishioners to serve the needs in the community,” Jeff said. Thirty years after his own ordination, John describes himself as “more mellow, better educated and still learning,” while Jeff is exploring how to live out his own diaconal calling. “In many ways, being a deacon is more about how to do something, not what we do,” Jeff said. — Melodie Woerman
hen Deacons Dick and Rita Tracy were ordained in 2000, they were surprised to learn they were the only husband-and-wife deacon couple. “We had never thought there was anything too unusual about it,” they said. That may be because they’d undertaken every step of the pre-ordination process together. At Trinity, Lawrence — their home parish and where they now serve — about 20 years ago they were asked to consider becoming deacons. The timing was right, but a few years later another invitation came from a different rector, and since they each felt attracted to the ministry of deacons, they started the exploration process. But was the call just to one of them? Dick said, “The question was, if only one became a deacon, which one would it be?” After prayers and discussion, they decided they’d pursue the call to the diaconate together — “or at least until it became obvious that one or both of us shouldn’t,” Dick said. Being married has been a plus for the couple, Dick said. “Christ sent out his disciples in pairs, and he probably did that for a reason.”
Like good partners, sharing the experience lightens the load and lessens the burdens. “The diaconate can be a lonely vocation,” Dick said, “ so it helps each of us to share ideas, problem solve, try to find the best approach and point out faulty thinking. It also helps to have someone close when we discuss our successes, failures and disappointments and share our spiritual life.” The two said the only downside is that expenses are doubled when attending retreats or continuing education events. They’ve forged ministries together and separately. Dick has concentrated on adult education, while Rita has undertaken ministry to women and families. Together they spend the bulk of their service visiting the sick and elderly, and addressing the problems of the needy. Through two decades of being deacons, the Tracys say they’ve seen an increased understanding of the nature of the diaconate and greater acceptance of deacons among priests and lay people — although someone they’d visited for years once asked them why no member of the clergy ever came to see them. — Melodie Woerman
Deacons: Shining the light of Christ into dark corners Continued from page 6 “We’re not super lay people as some may think, and we’re not mini-priests as others may think,” he said.
Distinctiv e symbols Distinctive The symbol of a deacon’s ordination is the stole, a colored strip of cloth worn over the left shoulder and usually fastened at the right hip. Unlike the stoles that priests wear, which hang around the neck and fall in front, the deacon’s stole keeps the right side of the body free to be ready to serve without hindrance, according to tradition. In the Diocese of Kansas, deacons usually wear clerical garb (colored shirt and clergy collar) only for liturgies, or if their min-
istry requires it — such as making pastoral calls in hospitals or jails. When they do wear a clergy shirt, deacons wear gray, to help distinguish them from the black usually worn by priests. In this diocese, the title for a deacon is simply “Deacon,” and not “the Reverend.” That, also, helps people understand their difference from priests. Deacons usually work in parishes without pay. They sign written ministry agreements with the parish, with the consent of the bishop and the archdeacons, that describe the scope of ministry, as well as times for vacation and continuing education, plus any flexibility required by secular employment. The roles for which deacons may be most recognized take
place during parish liturgies, fulfilling functions that mirror their ordination charges of prophetic witness and servanthood. They properly read the gospel, receive the people’s offerings, prepare the altar, distribute communion and offer the dismissal.
A diaconal vision Bishop Wolfe has said he would like to see a deacon in every parish, but Pearce said the need is for at least two in every congregation. To accomplish that, he said parish committees that help people, especially young adults, discern their vocation for ministry need to keep in mind a call may be to that of a deacon and not a priest. And every congregation has
those people, Giddings said. of deacons as a kind of church “There is always someone doing cavalry, charging out from the the work of a deacon in a parish,” safety of the institution into the world “to take on he said. “My viany challenge that sion is for us to may lie out there.” help them hear We’re not He said deathe call to this cons need to be sacred order.” super lay people, “agile and mobile, He said parand we’re not not tied to a place ishes that enbut committed to gage in this kind mini-priests... the itinerant ideal of intentional — Archdeacon of Christ.” discernment find Charles Pearce Pearce said the a new sense of world and the their own call to church both benministry as a efit from the ministry and prescommunity. To help educate parishioners ence of deacons in their midst. “Wherever there is a deacon,” about diaconal ministry, Pearce jokes that every deacon should he said, “I feel comforted in the wear a button that says, “Ask me knowledge that the light of Christ is being shined by them in some about being a deacon.” Giddings said he likes to think of the darkest corners.”
8 • The Harvest • January/February 2011
Around the diocese St. John’s, Abilene members young and old participated in the first Christmas pageant staged at the church in many years. Ann Boughton organized the event that also featured children using sign language to accompany “Away in a Manger,” under the direction of Dona Selock. Trinity, Arkansas City recently replaced the roofs on the church and the parish’s education building. The repairs were needed because of hail damage. Trinity, Atchison hosted a luncheon after church on Dec. 12 to help longtime member Violet Lehman celebrate her 98th birthday. “Vivacious Vi” attends church every Sunday. St. Mark’s, Blue Rapids celebrated Christmas Eve with an added bonus — the baptism of Preston Smerchek. His parents are Dan and Sonja Smercheck of Waterville. St. Paul’s, Clay Center is adding to its commitment to feed hungry people by becoming a site for the “Commodities for Seniors” program operated by Harvesters food bank in Kansas City. The parish will help distribute 25pound boxes of food to senior citizens who meet income guidelines. St. Paul’s, Coffeyville parish nurse Bev Winston shared information via the church newsletter about the danger of postpartum depression and how women and those who love them can recognize and combat it.
St. Andrew’s, Derby rector the Rev. Tom Wilson and his wife, Dr. Ruth Weber, hosted the parish at their home for an Epiphany open house on Jan. 9. St. Martin’s, Edwardsville had its own “Souper” Bowl one week after the big game, with the parish providing soup and chili and members bringing dessert and other accompaniments. Donations were accepted for the church building fund. St. Andrew’s, Emporia joined with Sacred Heart Catholic Church to again observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year a service on Jan. 19 took place at Sacred Heart, followed by a soup supper. Epiphany, Independence honored organist Roberta Davies on Jan. 6 as she retired after 50 years of service. A dessert reception completed the celebration. Covenant, Junction City has a variety of items for sale that feature the Episcopal shield and the church’s name, including canvas tote bags, coffee mugs and note cards. St. Paul’s, Kansas City welcomed to its Christmas Day service those who had come to eat at the weekly hot breakfast program that day, along with volunteers from neighboring parishes. Many of the breakfast patrons reported that was the first Episcopal service they had ever attended. St. Margaret’s, Lawrence
sponsored 19 people at Christmas through its “angel tree” program. A special offering taken on Jan. 16 helped fund additional expenses associated with the outreach effort. Trinity, Lawrence continues the popular “Pump’n Pray” program for men of the church. The group meets at 6:30 a.m. three times a week on the second floor of Allen Fieldhouse, and participants engage in a physical workout and time for spiritual reflection. Deacon Steve Segebrecht, a physician, leads the effort. St. Paul’s, Leavenworth called for volunteers on Jan. 22 to help clear deep snow from the curbs that surround the church. A service cleared sidewalks and the parking lot but help was needed making the area near the street accessible for church the next day. St. Paul’s, Manhattan collected 160 pounds of food for the local “Bread Basket” food pantry in December, and the vestry decided to seek weekly instead of monthly food donations, since the need is so great. St. Paul’s, Marysville welcomed campus missioner the Rev. Michael Bell on Feb. 6. Bell spoke about his work on the KState campus. The morning activities ended with lunch. St. Michael’s, Mission members dubbed the “Carpenter Ants” helped with needed repairs at St. Paul’s, Kansas City, in early January. Twelve men removed carpet, pad and tack strips; ceiling tiles; and old curtains. St. Matthew’s, Newton offers a service of “Evening Song” and healing prayers on the second Sunday of each month at 6 p.m. The music includes songs by the Taize community. St. Aidan’s, Olathe is beginning training for the Community of Hope, a Christian community of lay volunteer chaplains based in Benedictine spirituality that serve in pastoral care ministries. Grace, Ottawa sought a volunteer to serve as a facilitator for the parish adult education class. The group offers fun as well as education.
New meets old to share information Old styling combined with modern technology to help St. Andrew’s, Emporia, share information about church events. A new 9-by-10 foot sign featuring LED technology was installed in front of the church in January, and the large type it displays is just one advantage over changeable-letter signs — the message also can be changed from inside the parish office. To maintain the traditional look of the century-old church building, bricks that matched its facade were reclaimed from an unused boiler chimney nearby to build the base. A time capsule was sealed inside. The high-tech sign replaces a previous one that had been badly damaged by termites.
St. Thomas, Overland Park youth planned an overnight retreat for late February that included a trip to Snow Creek in nearby Weston, Mo., to go inner-tubing on the large snow-covered hill. St. John’s, Parsons celebrated its annual Epiphany observance Jan. 6 with the Holy Eucharist, a traditional Epiphany cake, wassail and the crowning of three kings or queens. St. Peter’s, Pittsburg began an Epiphany-season discussion of
Photo by Melodie Woerman
Parish shreds its mortgage George Webb, chair of the Capital Campaign Committee at St. David’s, Topeka, feeds a page of the church’s mortgage papers into a shredder during the Annual Meeting Jan. 23, after the church learned it had payed off its loan early. Looking on are (back) the rector, the Rev. Don Davidson, and Treasurer Jim Edwards. A $1.2 million mortgage helped rebuild the church after a November 2006 arson fire that destroyed the previous structure, covering the difference between building costs and insurance payments. Enthusiastic giving by parishioners and careful cost-containment allowed the church to pay off the loan in just 14 months. While the normal celebration for a mortgage pay-off is to burn the papers, Davidson said that given the circumstances, shredding them seemed wiser.
The Screwtape Letters, the classic book about evil written by C.S. Lewis.
She is a student at Kansas State University and a member of Good Shepherd, Wichita.
Epiphany, Sedan collected a donation for Episcopal Relief and Development to provide a well for a village in need. The well will give villagers clean water and basic sanitation.
Good Shepherd, Wichita offers a Bible study for women with children and their friends. It meets for an hour two Mondays a month to study a chapter of a book provided by the church. The current study is of A Woman Jesus Can Teach.
St. Luke’s, Shawnee offered a budget forum on Jan. 9, a week before the Annual Meeting, to give parishioners a chance to discuss the proposed 2011 budget. St. Clare’s, Spring Hill welcomed members of Trinity, Lawrence, on Sunday, Dec. 26, as many people attended the 10 a.m. service and helped provide food for the potluck that followed. Grace Cathedral, Topeka offered a twist on the classic boar’s head feast on Epiphany with “A Pig and a Prayer” Jan. 6. The dinner featuring roast pork and lots of side dishes was provided without charge to members of the parish. St. David’s, Topeka youth on Dec. 12 helped unload a truck filled with donations for Doorstep, a local service agency. Afterward middle and senior high youth returned to the church for a Christmas party. St. Luke’s, Wamego has named Amanda Jennings the church’s new youth coordinator.
St. Bartholomew’s, Wichita welcomed siblings Dreamis Deshawn and Taisa Marie Scales to the parish after their baptism on Dec. 26. The two were presented by their mother, Sarah, and their grandmother, Sue Hollon. St. James’, Wichita encouraged children in the parish to bring at least one nonperishable food item with them to Children’s Chapel during the weeks of the Epiphany season. All the offerings were stacked to form a tower of food. St. Stephen’s, Wichita adopted a family for Christmas that included three teenagers and parents who have been unemployed for three years. The effort was coordinated by the local office of Communities in Schools. Grace, Winfield had the unpleasant task of cleaning up the church basement after a recent sewer back-up. The clean-up costs of $2,900 were to be picked up by the city.
January/February 2011 • The Harvest • 9
Tocher lecture to feature noted Christian artist By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest
mal hide glue applied to handmade paper. His works are exhibited at galhe annual Tocher Lecture leries around the world, and he has this year will offer a dif- painted live on stage at New York’s legendary ferent take Carnegie Hall as part on matters of theolof an ongoing cology with a presentalaboration with comtion by a visual poser and percussionartist. ist Susie Ibarra. He M a k o t o was a Presidential apFujimura will speak pointee to the Naon Thursday, May 5 tional Council on the at 7 p.m. at Grace Arts from 2003 to Cathedral in To2009. peka. His lecture is Makoto Fujimura He has created a entitled “Practicing specially designed and produced Resurrection: Art & Life.” The event is free and open to edition of the four gospels to help mark the 400th anniversary of the the public. Fujimura is an artist, writer and King James Bible. Those will be speaker who has been recognized on exhibit this summer at the by faith-based and secular media Museum of Biblical Arts in New for his influence on modern cul- York. It features abstract contemture. His work combines tradi- porary art rather than more traditional Japanese painting technique tional illustrations. Fujimura’s second book, Rewith a Western approach to abfractions: A Journey of Faith, Art straction. Fujimura, 51, is a graduate of and Culture, is a collection of esBucknell University and then re- says bringing people of all backceived master’s and doctoral de- grounds together in conversation grees from the Tokyo National and meditation on culture, art and University of Fine Arts and Mu- humanity. He also founded the Insic, where he studied the Japanese ternational Arts Movement in traditional technique of Nihonga. 1992. Western artists who have influThis technique uses ground minerals such as azurite, mala- enced his work include Mark chite and cinnabar mixed with ani- Rothko and Jackson Pollock.
Photo by Melodie Woerman
Bishop Dean Wolfe (back) ordained three deacons and three priests at a service Jan. 8 at Grace Cathedral, Topeka. The new deacons are (front row, from left) Fran Wheeler, Barbara Gibson and Jeff Roper. The new priests are (second row, from left) Michael Bell, Dixie Junk and Antoinette Tackkett.
Six ordained in Januar vice Januaryy ser service
ishop Dean Wolfe ordained six people in a Jan. 8 service at Topeka’s Grace Cathedral, including the first deacons ordained in the diocese since June 2006. Those three also are the first graduates of the Kansas School for Ministry since it reopened in 2008. The new deacons are Barbara Gibson, whose home parish is Grace Cathedral; Jeff Roper, from St. James’, Wichita; and Fran Wheeler, St. Aidan’s, Olathe. Each of the three is completing an internship year as part of their diaconal formation. Gibson is serving at St. Paul’s, Manhattan; Roper is at two parishes in Cowley County, Trinity, Arkansas City and Grace, Winfield; and Wheeler serves at Trinity, Atchison.
The three priests ordained in the service are Michael Bell, Dixie Junk and Antoinette Tackkett. Bell was ordained by Bishop Wolfe on behalf of the bishop of Los Angeles, where he started the ordination process before coming to Kansas to serve as the campus missioner based at Kansas State University. Junk is a graduate of Saint Paul School of Theology, a Methodist seminary in Kansas City, Mo. She completed a year of Anglican studies at KSM. She has been named priest-in-charge at St. Paul’s, Kansas City. Her home parish is St. Michael and All Angels in Mission. Tackkett, from St. Paul’s, Coffeyville, also completed her studies at KSM and now is serving an intern year with the parishes of the Southeast Convocation.
Coffeyville youth help bring home debate trophy
Mayo Davison and Jordan Mecom
wo high school students who are active members of St. Paul’s, Coffeyville, helped bring home the Class 4A state debate championship trophy for the city’s Field Kindley High School. Sophomore Mayo Davison is head acolyte at the parish and also serves as a lector. She competed in the two-speaker division of the state contest.
Junior Jordan Mecom fills in on piano as musician during church services on Sunday mornings. He and his partner won five debates, competing in the four-speaker category. The Very Rev. Jerry Adinolfi, St. Paul’s rector, said, “We are very proud of these two students and the entire Field Kindley High School debate team.”
Wamego has ffir ir st graduat es irst graduates fr om Education ffor or Ministr from Ministryy
he Education for Ministry class at St. Luke’s, Wamego, had its first four members complete the four-year course on Dec. 26. They are Myrline and Dick Winkler, Cinnie Hill and Beth Galligan. The class was led by the Rev. Art Rathbun, vicar of churches in nearby Blue Rapids and Marysville. The program is operated by the University of the South in Sewanee and provides in-depth biblical, theological and historical knowledge about the Christian faith. Galligan will serve as a mentor with Rathbun for Wamego EFM graduates are (from left) Myrline the group, which will continue with six members. Winkler, Dick Winkler, Cinnie Hill and Beth Galligan.
New deacon will head Outreach Committee D
still is in the process eacon Fran of contacting potential Wheeler has committee members, been named by she knows the comBishop Dean Wolfe mittee’s scope will inas the new chair of clude oversight of dithe diocesan Outocesan funds directed reach Committee. for the Millennium Wheeler is one of Development Goals. the newest deacons Deacon She said she wants in the diocese, havFran Wheeler the committee to coning been ordained on Jan. 8. But she’s no stranger to tinue the emphasis on feeding outreach efforts, having coordi- people it has had in the past, and nated those for her home parish, she also wants to help support local outreach efforts already underSt. Aidan’s, Olathe. Wheeler said that while she way in congregations.
Clergy news The Rev. Dawn Frankfurt has been called as rector of St. James’, Wichita, beginning April 1. She most recently served as interim rector at two parishes in Oklahoma. The Rev. Gail Davis concluded her ministry as rector of Grace, Ottawa, effective Jan. 9. The Rev. Cathie Caimano who had been rector of St. John’s, Wichita, since 2007, resigned effective Jan. 23 to move to Durham, N.C., where her husband has taken a new job. She since has
begun a position on the staff of the Diocese of North Carolina. The Rev. Fred Miller concluded his service as interim rector of St. James’, Wichita, on Feb. 27. Letters Dimissory have been received for three members of the clergy: the Rev. Kelly Demo and Deacon Allen Ohlstein from the Diocese of Arkansas, and Campus Missioner the Rev. Michael Bell from the Diocese of Los Angeles. This makes all three canonically resident in this diocese.
10 • The Harvest • January/February 2011
National and international news Anglican news briefs Episcopal News Service Anglican bishop denied permission to live in Jerusalem. The Rt. Rev. Suheil Dawani, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, has filed court action seeking reinstatement of his permit to reside in the city of Jerusalem. The permit was revoked in August 2010 upon what the bishop says are unfounded accusations. Israel’s Ministry of the Interior denied the residency permit on the grounds that the bishop had illegally sold Israeli land to Palestinians; he also was accused of forging documents. Dawani and his family were instructed to leave the country immediately. Protests from Western diplomats to the Ministry of the Interior and prime minister’s office have had no effect. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the primates of the Anglican Communion are among church leaders who have attempted to intervene on Dawani’s behalf. Church of Sudan to remain united. The Episcopal Church of Sudan will remain one united church regardless of political boundaries, Sudanese bishops said following their House of Bishops meeting in Juba. The people of southern Sudan voted in January to separate from the north and become a separate country in July, with more than 98 percent of voters supporting secession. The bishops said, “The ECS will remain as one united church as part of the 80 million worldwide Anglican Communion.” Episcopal-Moravian celebrate full communion. Representatives of the Episcopal Church and the two provinces of the Moravian Church in North America formally inaugurated a fullcommunion relationship between the denominations during a service Feb. 10 at Central Moravian Church in downtown Bethlehem, Penn. Churches in full communion formally recognize that they share essential doctrines, including baptism and Eucharist; agree to accept the service of each other’s clergy; and pledge to work together in evangelism and mission. The churches become interdependent while remaining autonomous. A focal point of the service came when the Episcopal Church bishops knelt before the participating Moravian bishops, who laid hands on them and prayed. The prayer, from the Episcopal Church’s “Enriching Our Worship,” was repeated by the Episcopal Church bishops as they laid hands on the kneeling Moravian bishops. Cyprus and the Gulf diocese to ordain women as priests. The Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf has announced it now will be able to ordain women as priests. Bishop Michael Lewis of Cyprus and the Gulf said his request for permission to ordain and appoint women priests had been granted by the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. The decision will not affect the other dioceses in the province — Egypt, Iran and Jerusalem. The first ordination of a woman priest is likely to take place in June, when the Rev. Catherine Dawkins, currently serving as a deacon and assistant in a chaplaincy in Yemen, will be ordained in Bahrain cathedral. The diocese has one female ordinand in training. Presiding Bishop to serve on Primates Standing Committee. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is among five members elected to serve on the Primates Standing Committee. Jefferts Schori first was elected to represent the Americas and the Caribbean on the Primates Standing Committee during the February 2007 primates meeting in Tanzania. She now will serve a second three-year term on the committee, which meets once or twice a year along with members of the Anglican Consultative Council Standing Committee. Other newly elected primates are from Sudan, Scotland, Pakistan and Hong Kong. Bishops from Africa, North America share listening process. Nineteen bishops from North America and Africa acknowledged that the conflict around sexuality in the Anglican Communion has given them an opportunity to “build bridges of mutual understanding.” The group met in February in Dar es Salaam and announced plans to meet again. While discussions have not been solely focused on sexuality, the bishops said the sensitivity of the topic required them to approach it with “mutuality and humility and prayer in listening and in speaking as we seek together for God’s wisdom.” Bishops from Canada, the Sudan, Botswana, Malawi, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, the United States and England attended the meeting.
Photo by Bob Stone
Bishops lay their hands on the head of Michael Milliken during the Feb. 19 service in which he was consecrated as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Western Kansas. The service took place in Hutchinson, where Bishop Milliken will continue to serve as rector of Grace Church in addition to his episcopal duties.
West ern K ansas bishop will estern Kansas combine parish, episcopal duties By Pat McCaughan Episcopal News Service
he formal seating of the Rt. Rev. Michael Milliken on Feb. 20 at Christ Episcopal Cathedral in Salina as fifth bishop of the Diocese of Western Kansas concluded a weekend of festivities that made history. Milliken, who was consecrated a day earlier at the First Presbyterian Church in Hutchinson, will become the diocese’s first bishop to continue to serve as rector of a local congregation. “Our new structure in Western Kansas is, partly, a response to the financial realities of the diocese,” said Milliken, 63, in a Feb. 19 email to Episcopal News Service. “But more than that, we feel that using a bishop who is also a parish rector will allow us to find some funds for new ministries in the diocese. “In the near future we will be looking for ways to enhance our lay ministry in the diocese while also raising up and training men and women for ordained ministry in many of our small communities,” added Milliken. He has served as rector of Grace Church in Hutchinson since 1998. He was elected bishop Aug. 21, 2010.
Reclaiming old tradition Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who served as chief consecrator, said the new arrangement, in a sense, reclaimed a portion of the church’s past. “You have claimed something old and something new in electing a bishop who will also remain in congregational ministry,” said Jefferts Schori, preaching for the first time in the diocese. “The first bishops in the Episcopal Church also served as rec-
tors of congregations, and that, too, was a response born of a need for leanness,” she told about 400 worshippers who gathered for the celebration. She added that the “willingness to risk trying this model strikes a balance between the forms of episcopal ministry of two of our full communion partners. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America elects bishops to oversee far larger territories than this one — sometimes several states — and the work of their bishops is far more about administration and crisis management than it is in this church. “The Moravian Church elects bishops who remain local pastors of congregations, or are even retired, and their ministry is primarily about sharing spiritual wisdom as they visit other congregations and in council with the larger church. This Episcopal Church is beginning to explore a number of different models along that spectrum or beyond it,” the presiding bishop said. Co-consecrating bishops included Dean E. Wolfe of Kansas, Larry Benfield of Arkansas and Vernon Strickland, assisting bishop in Wyoming, who retired in 2002 as the third bishop of Western Kansas. Other bishops attending included Edward J. Konieczny of Oklahoma, Dena Harrison, suffragan of Texas, C. Wallis Ohl of Fort Worth and Martin Fields, bishop-elect of Western Missouri, according to Sally Russell, a member of the diocesan consecration planning committee. Milliken has been active on the diocesan and provincial levels. He has served as acting president of diocesan council and chair of the diocesan stewardship committee. He has served on the Province 7
council and as the Commission on Ministry network chair. A native of Lexington, he is a 1970 graduate of the University of Kentucky and earned a master of divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Kentucky in 1973. He holds a Master of Arts degree in theology from Xavier University in Cincinnati, where he also taught theology. He also taught courses in Old and New Testament at the Hutchinson Community College. He was ordained a deacon May 26, 1973 and to the priesthood November 30, 1973. Before coming to Hutchinson in 1998 he also served parishes in Lexington and Florence, Ky. He has served as director and chaplain for summer youth camps, and as spiritual director for Cursillo weekends and retreats. He is vice-chairman of New Beginnings Inc., a homeless ministry in Hutchinson, and is vicepresident of the board of directors for St. Francis Community Services, the largest private provider of children’s services in Kansas. Milliken succeeds Bishop James M. Adams, who resigned in 2009 after serving eight years. Adams left to become vicar of Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church in Lecanto in the Diocese of Central Florida. Milliken and his wife, Kathy, have been married for more than 40 years. They have one son, who is a National Park Service Ranger in Alaska. The Diocese of Western Kansas encompasses about 2,000 Episcopalians in 28 congregations across in 31 counties covering 55,000 square miles. The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.
January/February 2011 • The Harvest • 11
Recovery begins after New Zealand earthquake Anglican Taonga Magazine
Hundreds of Aucklanders lit candles at a memorial service for those killed in the Feb. 22 earthquake in Christchurch.
earchers are close to entering the collapsed spire of ChristChurch Cathedral, where up to 22 people are believed to have been killed during the Feb. 22 6.3-magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was the second time in five months that Christchurch had been rocked by a major earthquake. The quake so far has claimed 163 lives, with an expected final toll of 220. The nation marked the quake’s one-week anniversary when thousands gathered at churches and squares across the country. Cathedral bells tolled in city centers as the nation stopped for a two-minute silence. Some people cried, while others hugged each other for support.
Anglican Taonga photo
Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews offered prayers for both the dead and the living. Search and rescue workers in quake-torn Christchurch downed tools and joined the rest of New Zealanders standing in silence. The silence across the nation, including some of the country’s busiest workplaces, was a poignant sign of unity for the people of Christchurch and respect for those who lost their lives.
Prime Minister John Key announced there will be a national memorial service for those who died in the earthquake. He said, “I think the country and world recognizes the significance of this event — in terms of loss of life, it’s likely to be one of New Zealand’s most significant. All New Zealanders will want to mourn that loss and to grieve for those that have lost their lives and for the significant disruption to
our second largest city.” An insurance company that covers most of the churches in Christchurch expects damage to run into “hundreds of millions of dollars” and says restoring the cathedral could alone cost tens of millions. Other Anglican churches in Christchurch have also been badly damaged, and 22 churches across the diocese sustained damage either caused by this earthquake or made worse by it and the ongoing aftershocks. St. Luke’s in the City, St. John’s Latimer Square near the cathedral and Holy Trinity Avonside all suffered what Bishop Matthews called “devastating damage.” Damage to Christchurch churches in the earlier Sept. 4 earthquake was estimated at $100 million. An insurance official said Christchurch churches would face
increased insurance premiums, too. The city’s mayor, Bob Parker, vowed that Christchurch’s iconic cathedral will be rebuilt. He said the building was a stunning and symbolic building. “There is some discussion that that is a building we could rebuild brick by brick, stone by stone. We need to find some symbols like that,” he said. Parker said a new and stronger city would rise out of the ruins, and it was realistic to start thinking about it. “The scale of what has happened here means we will have to take some bold steps.” He would not rule out the need to knock over whole blocks of the city, and some of the character buildings they would have once fought for may have to go. “We have got to have a safe city going forward.”
Haiti church marks one year since devastating quake Episcopal News Service
Photos courtesy of Janee’ Hanzlick
St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Torbeck, Haiti, was repaired after the January 2010 earthquake with money donated by members of St. Michael and All Angels, Mission.
St. Michael’s, Mission, helps rebuild school and rectory in Torbeck, Haiti By Melodie Woerman Editor, The Harvest
ince 1984 the people of St. Michael and All Angels, Mission, have had a relationship with St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Torbeck, Haiti, so it was only natural that they would come to their partner’s aid after the January 2010 earthquake that devastated much of the Caribbean nation.
In Torbeck a worker clears rubble caused by the earthquake from the rectory.
Torbeck is about 120 miles southwest of the capital Port-au-Prince, but the school and nearby church rectory suffered damage from the aftershocks, mostly cracks in the walls and along the roof. St. Michael’s members knew they needed to respond, to get the school back into operation for the more than 200 students in kindergarten through sixth grade who rely on it for their education. Parishioners of the Kansas congregation stepped up to the challenge and raised more than $18,000 for repairs to the school and the rectory. An additional $2,000 was given to the Episcopal church in nearby Les Cayes to provide temporary housing for that church’s priest while the rectory there was repaired. The contributions come on top of the $19,000 St. Michael’s donates each year to help operate the school. Janee’ Hanzlick, chair of the church’s Haiti ministry team, said the parish receives a great deal for its contributions. “We are blessed with the friendship and spiritual partnership of the people of Torbeck,” she said. St. Michael’s work in Torbeck is part of the Haitian Episcopal Learning Partnership, a group of parishes in Kansas and West Missouri that support the ministry of Episcopal churches in Haiti.
n Jan. 12 the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti marked the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that devastated much of the Caribbean nation and heard Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin urge it not “to stay in death but to rise, rise and walk.” Duracin led a service in the ruins of the diocese’s Holy Trinity Cathedral in Portau-Prince and later helped dedicate a memorial at the Episcopal University of Haiti to remember 24 students who died there. In the year since the earthquake killed as many as 300,000 Haitians and left much of the capital city of Port-au-Prince in shambles, the diocese has helped provide basic assistance to many. At one point after the quake, an estimated 25,000-30,000 survivors were living in more than 60 settlements connected to the diocese. While that number has declined, the diocese remains involved in the country’s recovery and development efforts.
Chur Churcch helped thousands Duracin said that the diocese, with help from Episcopalians everywhere, has provided food, shelter and medical assistance to many people, adding that most of its schools are operating, although often in temporary structures. A large portion of Episcopalians’ initial support was funneled through Episcopal Relief and Development, which recently released a report about its work in the country during the past year. The agency’s work included providing shelter for 10,470 Haitians, medical service for nearly 60,000, food to close to 30,000, non-food supplies to 16,834 individuals and 26,763 students, water and sanitation to 47,358 people, and employment for 2,413.
Muc h of diocese w as lost Much was One of the U.S.-based Episcopal Church’s 12 overseas dioceses, Haiti is numerically the largest diocese in the church, with more than 100,000 Episcopalians in 169 congregations. Those congregations are served by just
32 active priests, nine retired priests, six deacons, three nuns and 17 seminarians. Prior to the earthquake the diocese ran a network of 254 schools that taught more than 80,000 Haitians from preschool to university level. Other institutions included a school for handicapped children, a trade school, a music school, a two-year business school, a nursing school that granted the first baccalaureate degrees in the country in January 2009, a seminary and a university. The quake destroyed 71 percent of the diocese’s churches, 50 percent of its primary schools and 80 percent of its secondary schools. Seventy-five percent of its higher-educational facilities must be demolished, and 33 percent of the rectories, convents and guesthouses were seriously damaged and also must be destroyed. Also lost were the bishop’s house and the diocese’s income-producing condominium building. The cathedral complex once contained Holy Trinity Music School, Holy Trinity Professional School, primary and secondary schools, and St. Margaret’s Convent, a convent of the Sisters of St. Margaret. The church also housed worldrenowned murals depicting biblical stories in Haitian motifs, which were crafted by some of the best-known Haitian painters of the 20th century. In November a report released during a meeting of many of the diocese’s current mission partners predicted that the first phase of post-earthquake reconstruction and development for the entire diocese will cost close to $197 million. The report estimated it would take $34.7 million to rebuild the cathedral and another $49.9 million to rebuild its adjacent complex of schools and the convent.
Rebuilding the cathedral A $10 million effort for Episcopalians to help rebuild Holy Trinity Cathedral was announced in January by the Episcopal Church Foundation. The appeal offers Episcopalians the chance to buy bricks in the completed cathedral complex for $10 each. Donations can be made through a special website, www.episcopalchurch.org/haitiappeal.
12 • The Harvest • January/February 2011
Reflections on faith and life
Sharing the Good News
God in the rubble of Christc hur Christchur hurcch By the Most Rev. David Moxon
Anglican Archbishop David Moxon speaks with a television reporter after the Feb. 22 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo by Anglican Taonga
grace and love. God knows, this can be so painful. But this is the way God overcomes, and this is the way we’re called to live in a stillimperfect and unpredictable world — as an Easter people. But let’s go back to the Christchurch quake… In talking with Christchurch people this week I noticed a deep interest in the place and meaning of the Christian church, especially the church as represented by ChristChurch Cathedral. This extraordinary and iconic sacred space at the centre of Christchurch has become the embodiment of the very heart of this city — albeit a broken heart at this time. The bishop, the dean and other clergy connected to the cathedral, as well as priests throughout the stricken urban area, have touched some spiritual taproots which in some cases were deeply buried. One of many signs of solidarity and hope has been the sight of the clergy collar. We all know it’s just a strip of plastic, but it singles out someone who lives with trauma and shock like anyone else, and yet is there for others in the name of God. And that strikes a deep chord. Something equally profound became clear to me in the midst
of the crisis. A tragic event restores Kiwi community, in a time when many of us have retreated into private cyberspace, possessions, or the medication of drugs and alcohol. These diversions can become symptoms of escape from the true realities and challenges of our city and our world. But then calamity strikes, shaking the very basis of our life together — and people discover that they actually need each other. Neighborliness and mutual compassion come alive again, re-creating community bonds that have shriveled in the past 50 years. Which is why I saw free water bottles thrust into the hands of thirsty drivers and pedestrians … ice creams handed out willy-nilly from passing vehicles… and homemade meals served up with practical help. The image of God in everyone — however tarnished, fallen or unrecognized — can be glimpsed in the good that we become capable of. Which goes to prove, once again, that wherever there is goodness, there is God. The Most Rev. David Moxon is archbishop of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
19 Commission on Ministry meeting, Bethany Place Conference Center, Topeka
20 Bishop Wolfe at St. John’s, Abilene
2 Northeast Convocation meeting, St. Michael and All Angels, Mission
New Beginnings retreat for junior high youth, Good Shepherd, Wichita (through April 3)
22 Council of Trustees meeting, Grace Cathedral, Topeka
26 Safeguarding God’s Children Training, St. John’s, Parsons
10 Bishop Wolfe at St. Michael and All Angels, Mission
27 Bishop Wolfe at House of Bishops Meeting, Kanuga Conference Center, Hendersonville, N.C.
12 Fresh Start, Bethany Place Conference Center, Topeka
Bishop Wolfe at Grace, Ottawa
17 Palm Sunday; Bishop Wolfe at Grace Cathedral, Topeka 19 Chrism Mass, Grace Cathedral, Topeka Council of Trustees meeting, Bubb Room, Grace Cathedral, Topeka 24 Easter Day; Bishop Wolfe at Grace Cathedral, Topeka 29 Deacons’ retreat, Marillac Center, Leavenworth (through May 1)
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s this an act of God?” a TV3 reporter asked as we stood amid the carnage of the Feb. 22 earthquake. It was a genuine question, posed by many in the aftermath of disaster. The answer, of course, is no. “Act of God” doesn’t even stand up as a legal definition these days. God doesn’t create earth tremors that kill hundreds of people. God is love, creative freedom, righteousness and justice. And God doesn’t remove grace from any part of the world that God has created. No way. So how do we understand a natural disaster such as the Christchurch earthquake? Good biblical theology accepts that the devastation wrought by plate tectonics is a result of freedom — yes, freedom — in the world that God has created. God’s creation unfolds and develops, from the smallest atom to the movement of vast continents and mountain ranges, according to God-given principles of relative freedom. God contains this freedom within the creative energy and purpose of divine grace, as a new creation is prepared and anticipated, but God doesn’t manipulate events the way a puppeteer does. God suffers with creation as it groans in travail like a woman in labor, as St. Paul reflected. That’s to say, God takes on the pain and death of the world on the cross and offers back resurrection, in Christ. God in Christ overcomes the powers of sin and death, with a victory of
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